Friday, 11 April 2008

Caledonian Brewery

S&N buys Deuchars and brewery
will pass to new owner Heineken

Caledonian Brewery has been bought -- lock, stock and barrel -- by Scottish & Newcastle, which means ownership of the Edinburgh brewery will pass eventually to Heineken. In 2004, S&N, which had closed its breweries in both Edinburgh and Newcastle, bought the Caledonian site in Slateford Road and also took a 30% stake in the company. The brewery continued to be run by the Caledonian management led by managing director Steve Crawley while S&N used its enormous muscle to promote the Caley brands in the free trade. Caledonian Deuchars IPA, far and away the biggest brand, is now available nationally as far away as Cornwall.
Steve Crawley will remain at the helm of Caledonian and will oversee a dramatic change of ownership when Heineken moves in. Earlier this year, Carlsberg and Heineken successfully bid for S&N, with Carlsberg taking over S&N's interests in Russia and the Baltic States, and Heineken becoming responsible for S&N's activities in Britain.
The Harviestoun Brewery, a subisidiary of Caledonian, will become independent: Heineken will have no involvement in the company but Steve Crawley will become a non-executive director.
It seems unlikely that Heineken will tinker with a brand as successful as Deuchars IPA, a past winner of CAMRA's Champion Beer of Britain award. The Dutch company might be tempted to cash in on the property potential of the Slateford Road site, on the road to Edinburgh Airport, but wise councils will point out that consumers tend to react against beers when they are moved from their original home : Deuchars brewed in Yorkshire or Manchester would take the gloss of a successful Scottish brand.


Blogger Zak Avery said...

It seems that the industry has gone consolidation-crazy at the moment! I find it all a bit hard to undestand - at one level, we're led to believe that margins are tighter than ever before, and that there is less and less money in brewing, and on the other, breweries are being hoovered up on a weekly basis. Is it just economies of scale at play, or a more nefarious agenda?

12 April 2008 at 08:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect the driving force behind most of the consolidation/buying up craze is to do with market share. The spin off from this sort of activity is often more micros.

15 April 2008 at 12:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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24 April 2008 at 20:52  

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